Beverly-Center Elementary School receives progress award

BEVERLY – Beverly-Center Elementary School has become the second school in Washington County to receive the Ohio Department of Education High Progress School Award.

The Fort Frye Local School District Board of Education was notified of the honor at its monthly meeting Thursday night.

Paul Mock, Southeast regional manager for the Ohio Association of School Boards, presented the award. Mock the previous night had presented the same award to Newport Elementary School.

According to the education department, the award is based on a five-year academic performance index of grade 3-8 students for schools in which at least 40 percent of the students are economically disadvantaged. The school has to show gains during the period in an array of English and math scores the index of which is at or beyond the 90th percentile of gains shown by all schools in the state. The period measured was 2014-18.

Superintendent Stephanie Starcher congratulated Beverly-Center Principal Megan Miller.

“Not all your students come from the same playing field, and the progress is that you grow them, move them forward,” Starcher said. “This shows huge dedication by the staff, along with parent volunteers.”

Miller said after the meeting the award reflects the work of the school’s staff.

“They’re a dedicated group of pros with a 100-percent commitment to the kids,” she said. “For the past five years the teachers have devoted themselves to learning new methods, best practices. They’re willing to take professional risks if they think it will be of benefit to the kids.”

Miller said the school has been spending time closely watching student performance data.

“We’re very focused on the individual child, their interests and abilities,” she said. “We don’t just want them to gain to a certain point; we want them to go beyond.”

Mock said that of the thousands of schools in Ohio’s 88 counties, only 66 received the award, 15 of them in the southeast region. Washington County now has two such awards.

In other business the board:

¯ Accepted donations, including $5,000 from the Fort Frye Athletic Boosters to be applied toward installation of an HVAC system in the high school gym.

¯ Received resignations from teachers Alicia Carter and Kayla Johnson.

¯ Approved one-year contracts for technology coordinator Ryan Henry, assistant treasurer Rebecca Wallace, accounts clerks Heidi McCutcheon and Linda Hart, and EMIS coordinator Erin Lockhart.

¯ Approved hiring of Abby Motter as CTE vocational agriculture teacher at the high school.

The board held its meeting in the conference room of the administration building on the Luminant power plant site and was given a tour of the gas-fired power plant after the meeting. Starcher thanked the plant staff for the tour, noting that the facility is a strong supporter of the district.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. May 23 at Beverly-Center Elementary School.